Six Weeks of Meal Prep Lunches, Menu Planning Made Easy

Ready to get started with meal prep but no clue where to start? I’ve compiled a list of twelve easy, healthy, and delicious recipes to get you started on your menu planning.

I like to plan two recipes for my weekday lunch meals, three days of one recipe, two day of another. This way I never get bored with eating the same thing every week. If you prefer to simplify, you can definitely stick to one recipe per week. In which case, here’s twelve weeks of menu planning all done for you.

Setting up a meal prep routine is a great way to save time and money during the week.

  • Preparing your own food saves money. Pick your meals based on what’s on sale and in season to ensure you’re getting the best bang for your buck.
  • Preparing your own meals means having total control over ingredients. This is important if you’re on a specialty diet. When you make it yourself, you know exactly what you’re eating and can feel good about what you’re putting into your body.
  • Spending just an hour or two in the kitchen one day a week means not spending time preparing meals every day, freeing up your time for everything else you need to get done in a day. And who couldn’t use a little more time?

Still Hungry?

Become a subscriber to receive free printables! Create your own food journal.

Advertisements

I’m in! How do I get started?

First, plan your menu. I spent a little time, usually not more than 20 minutes picking out what I want for meals the following week. I use Pinterest and my cookbook library to plan out what I’m going to make. I use a two column document to create my shopping list on one side and my menu for the week on the other. Get your free printable right here on my blog (see the form above).

Next, I spent a little time on Sundays doing my cooking. Typically, I prep lunches, snacks, and any baked goods I’m planning to make. I like to leave dinners to be made fresh during the week. I find it a nice way to relax in the evenings after a busy day. But set your meal prep plan based on what works for your lifestyle.

When I’m done, I have a week’s work of healthy options ready to grab and go. I use glass food containers that are microwave and dishwasher safe for easy heating and clean up. I like containers with compartments so there is space for a main dish, sides, special condiments, etc. Here is a link to my favorites:

Ready to Get Started?

Here’s a list of twelve of my favorite lunch recipes to start you off:

Advertisements
Advertisements
Advertisements

Pair it with:

Still Hungry?

New subscribers get access to free food journal printables. Sign up today!

Please follow and like us:
error0
fb-share-icon20
Tweet 20
fb-share-icon20

Maple Glazed Carrot and Black Rice Salad with Salmon

Sweet glazed carrots and nutty black rice make a great pairing in this salad.

I first started doing meal prep three years ago. I found myself getting tired of eating the same old sandwich and fruit every single day. My process has continued to evolve as my schedule and tastes have changed. But I still take the time, at the start of each week, to create delicious and healthy meals to keep me going during a busy week.

For more details on how I plan my meal prep every week, jump over to my Meal Prep page (see top menu). You’ll find helpful tips as well as essential products I use. Subscribe to my blog to get a free download of my meal prep planning worksheet.

Advertisements

Still Hungry?

Become a subscriber to receive free printables! Create your own food journal.


Maple Glazed Carrot and Black Rice Salad with Salmon

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 3

Equipment

  • Mini food processor
  • Mortar & Pestle
  • Non-stick baking mat

Ingredients
  

For the Salad

  • 3 Large Carrots peeled and cut into diagonal slices
  • 2 tbsp Avocado Oil divided
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seed
  • 1 tsp Coriander Seed
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 2 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 cup Black Rice (aka Forbidden Rice)
  • 1/2 + 1/3 cup Water
  • 1 lb Salmon
  • 1/4 cup Sliced Almonds
  • 1/4 cup Dried Cranberries
  • 2 cups Arugula
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

For the Dressing

  • Juice of 1/2 a Lemon
  • 1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 tsp Honey
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Instructions
 

For the Salad

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a non-stick baking mat.
  • Using a mortar and pestle, roughly grind the coriander and cumin seeds.
  • In a bowl, combine the carrots, 1 tbsp of avocado oil, ground coriander and cumin, turmeric, paprika, salt and pepper. Spread out over the baking sheet and bake 20 minutes. Add the maple syrup and bake an additional 10 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.
  • In a small pot, combine the black rice and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to simmer. Cook for 30 minutes, until the rice is tender the water has been absorbed. Allow to cool slightly.
  • Season the salmon with salt and pepper.
  • In a pan, heat the avocado oil over medium-high heat. Cook the salmon about 8 minutes per side, or until done.
  • To a large bowl, add the arugula, almonds, cranberries, black rice, carrots, and the dressing. Toss gently to combine.
  • Divide the salad among meal prep containers. Add portions of the salmon. Refrigerate until ready to eat.

For the Dressing

  • In a mini food processor, add the dressing ingredients and blend to combine.
Advertisements

Find the Ingredients


This page contains affiliate links. This means for any purchase made, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.



Still Hungry?

New subscribers get access to free food journal printables. Sign up today!


Please follow and like us:
error0
fb-share-icon20
Tweet 20
fb-share-icon20

Pearl Barley Salad with Figs and Chicken

Quick and easy salad, perfect for meal prep

It’s meal prep time again! This salad is a quick and easy combination of lots of amazing super foods. For starters, pearl barley is a good source of potassium and fiber. Figs, dried blueberries, spinach, and pumpkin seeds are all rich sources of antioxidants and other nutrients which help reduce inflammation in the body.

This recipe makes two lunch servings of salad. It can also be doubled and served as a delicious side dish, without the chicken.

Advertisements

Still Hungry?

Become a subscriber to receive free printables! Create your own food journal.


Pearl Barley Salad with Figs and Chicken

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Servings 2

Equipment

  • Mini food processor

Ingredients
  

For the Salad

  • 1/2 cup Pearl Barley
  • 1 1/2 cups Water
  • 1/4 cup Dried Blueberries
  • 1/4 cup Pumpkin Seeds
  • 5-6 Calimyrna Figs quartered
  • 2 cups Spinach
  • 1 Chicken Breast cooked and diced

For the Dressing

  • 3 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tbsp Coarse Ground Mustard
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions
 

For the Salad

  • In a medium pot, place the pearl barley and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, on low, for 30 minutes. The barley should be tender and all the water absorbed. Allow to cool slightly.
  • In a large bowl, combine the remaining salad ingredients. Add the cooled barley. Toss with the dressing to coat.
  • Divide the salad into meal prep containers and refrigerate until ready to eat.

For the Dressing

  • In a mini food processor, add the dressing ingredients and blend to combine.
Advertisements

Find the Ingredients


This page contains affiliate links. This means for any purchase made, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.


Still Hungry?

New subscribers get access to free food journal printables. Sign up today!


Please follow and like us:
error0
fb-share-icon20
Tweet 20
fb-share-icon20

Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas

I find Latin and Tex-Mex dishes to be some of the most difficult to translate into anti-inflammatory friendly meals. Mainly because so many of them incorporate tomato-based salsas and sauces. And what fun are enchiladas or quesadillas without cheese? Am I right? Not to mention some of the peppers that give these dishes their zest can also be problematic. But sometimes, the craving hits and you just have to satisfy it.

And this vegan enchilada dish does just that, while avoiding most of the problem foods. I did make them vegan, so they are completely plant-based and have no cheese. If you really need the dairy, I would recommend using crumbles of feta. Feta cheese is made from sheep milk or a blend of sheep and goat milk. Because of the different proteins in these types of milk, they tend to cause fewer inflammation issues. I do occasionally incorporate feta into my diet and find that I don’t have issues from it. Plus it adds the satisfying saltiness of a cotija cheese, which is perfect for this dish.

Green Enchilada Sauce

For my enchilada sauce, I wanted to avoid tomatoes. So I went with a green sauce. Fresh enchilada sauce is quick and easy to throw together in a blender. Capsaicin, the stuff that gives peppers their heat can cause increased inflammation in some people. For this sauce, I used poblano peppers and one jalapeno with the seeds and ribs removed. Most of the capsaicin is found in the seeds and ribs. So removing these helps minimize any exposure.

To make the sauce, start by roasting the poblano peppers under a broiler or over the open flame of a gas burner. Turn the peppers until the skin has blackened and blistered on all sides. Then place the peppers in a resealable bag or a bowl with a tight fitting lid. Let them sit for about fifteen minutes. The steam will loosen the skin away from the flesh of the pepper. Gently remove the skin and discard the skin from the outside of the poblanos. It’s not necessary to remove every bit of skin. Just remove the majority.

Remove the stem, seeds and ribs from the jalapeno and roughly chop.

Add the peppers to a high speed blender, along with a small onion, roughly chopped, four cloves of garlic, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, ½ teaspoon of dried oregano, 1 tablespoon of avocado oil, 1 cup vegan vegetable stock, the juice of one lime, and salt and pepper to taste.

Process the sauce in the blender until smooth and set aside.

This can also be used as a restaurant style salsa. Service with gluten free corn tortilla chips as an appetizer or a snack.

Gluten Free Wraps

Instead of tortillas, I discovered some great gluten free wraps made with flax and chia seeds. Both are loaded with fiber and other anti-inflammatory friendly nutrients. This brand makes a few other varieties that I’m looking forward to trying in other recipes.

If you prefer to use a traditional tortilla, stick to gluten free corn tortillas.

Making the Enchiladas

To make the enchiladas, start be peeling and dicing the two to three sweet potatoes. Toss them in a tablespoon of avocado oil, a teaspoon of cumin, salt and pepper. Roast in a 400 degree oven about 35 to 40 minutes, until soft. When the potatoes are done, reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Drain and rinse the black beans. I always go for no salt added when shopping for canned beans. This way I have complete control over the amount of salt going into my dish. Combine the beans with the roasted sweet potatoes and ¼ cup of the enchilada sauce. Stir to combine.

In a 9×13 baking dish, add a small amount of sauce to create a thin layer along the bottom of the pan. Lay down one of the gluten free wraps and add a generous amount of the bean and potato mixture. Roll up the wrap around the filling. Repeat with the remaining five wraps.

Pour the remaining sauce over the top of the enchiladas and bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until warmed through.

For serving, top the enchiladas with slices of avocado, green onions, and/or toasted pumpkin seeds.

These are best enjoyed the same day but can be reheated in the oven. Just warm at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes to warm back through.

Advertisements

Still Hungry?

Become a subscriber to receive free printables! Create your own food journal.


Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas

Gluten free, dairy free, and vegan
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Main Course

Ingredients
  

For the Enchiladas

  • 3 Sweet potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 1 15oz Can Black Beans
  • 1 pkg Gluten Free Wraps or Tortillas (6)
  • 1 tbsp Avocado Oil
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Sauce

  • 4 Poblano peppers see article for notes
  • 1 Jalapeno stem, ribs, and seeds removed; roughly chopped
  • 1 small Onion roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • 1 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 tbsp Avocado Oil
  • 1 cup Vegetable Stock vegan
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions
 

For the Enchiladas

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Toss the peeled and diced sweet potatoes with one tablespoon of avocado oil, cumin, salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on a lined baking sheet. Roast at 400 degrees, about 35 to 40 minutes, until soft. Remove from the oven and set aside. While the potatoes are roasting, prepare the sauce.
  • Reduce the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Combine the sweet potatoes with the black beans and 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce.
  • Add a thin layer of sauce to the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.
  • Lay one of the gluten free wraps in the baking dish. Add a generous portion of the potato and bean mixture. Roll up the wrap and place, seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining five wraps.
  • Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the wraps, spreading it into the cracks between wraps.
  • Bake the enchiladas at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, until they are warmed through. Garnish with slices of avocado, sliced green onions, toasted pumpkin seeds, and/or chopped fresh cilantro.

For the Sauce

  • Place the poblano peppers under a broil for about 10 minutes, turning so that the skin is charred on all sides. This can also be done over a burner; be very careful if using this method. Place the charred peppers in a resealable bag or in a bowl with a tight fitting lid. Set aside for 15 minutes. The steam from the peppers will soften the skin, making it easier to remove.
  • After 15 minutes, carefully remove the skin from the poblanos. It is not necessary to remove all of the skin, just the majority. Do not rinse the peppers. Remove the stems, seeds, and ribs. Add the peppers to a high speed blender.
  • To the poblanos, add the remaining sauce ingredients. Pure until smooth. Set aside until ready to use.
Advertisements

Shop This Recipe


This page contains affiliate links. This means for any purchase made, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.



Still Hungry?

New subscribers get access to free food journal printables. Sign up today!


Please follow and like us:
error0
fb-share-icon20
Tweet 20
fb-share-icon20

Roasted Vegetable Salad

Usually, I stick to roasting vegetables for fall and winter dishes. But sometimes, you just need a good comfort dish, regardless of the weather. In which case, this is the vegetarian lunch for you. Salmon or chicken would be great protein additions if you prefer to add a little more protein. This is also a great side dish.

Roasting Veggies

To roast my veggies, I start with preheating the oven to 400 degrees. I prefer roasting at a higher heat, to help the vegetables caramelize. Cut your vegetables into similar sizes to ensure they cook evening. In this salad, I used eggplant, yellow bell pepper, carrots, zucchini, and mushrooms. Toss the cut vegetables in a tablespoon or two of avocado oil. Then I season them with a teaspoon of cumin and a teaspoon of za’atar, salt and pepper. If you’re a regular reader, you’re likely already familiar with my love of za’atar. It adds a delicious earthiness to just about anything. I’m a big fan and use this stuff on just about everything! Spread the veggies on a lined baking sheet in a single layer and roast about 35 minutes. I give them a stir about half way through the cooking process.

Israeli Couscous

Also called Giant Couscous or Pearl Couscous, this toasted pasta is a great option to accompany a wide variety of dishes. It’s quick and easy to prepare and adds great texture.

I’ve not found this in a gluten free option. If you are gluten free, I recommend substituting buckwheat, quinoa or millet in this salad.

You’ll want to follow the package instructions when preparing Israeli Couscous. The variety I use calls for one and a quarter cups of liquid to one cup of couscous. In this case, I used a vegan vegetable stock to add a little extra flavor. The pasta absorbs the cooking liquid so feel free to experiment with different cooking liquids.

Bring the vegetable stock and couscous to a boil in a small pot. Reduce the heat to low and cover for six minutes. Fluff the couscous with a fork and you’re ready to enjoy. I recommend not leaving the couscous sit too long before adding sauce or dressing. I will get very sticky when it cools and needs the sauce or dressing to keep from forming one big solid clump.

Put it Together

To assemble this salad, add the roasted vegetables and the couscous to a large bowl. I also added some extra peas I had from my Quinoa Pea Salad. Toss everything to combine. Add a tablespoon of avocado oil and the juice of half a lemon to create a dressing. Toss to combine. Garnish with a little sprinkle of za’atar and feta cheese crumbles (omit if serving with meat).


Still Hungry?

Become a subscriber to receive free printables! Create your own food journal.


Roasted Vegetable Salad

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Main Course, Side Dish

Ingredients
  

  • 1 small Eggplant diced
  • 1 small Zucchini sliced
  • 1 Yellow Bell Pepper stem, ribs and seeds removed, cut into chunks
  • 1 large Carrot peeled and sliced
  • 8 oz Baby Bella Mushrooms quartered
  • 1 cup Peas
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 2 tsp Za'atar divided
  • 2 tbsp Avocado Oil divided
  • 1 cup Israeli Couscous prepared according to package instructions
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Feta Crumbles optional

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Toss the vegetables in one tablespoon of avocado oil, one teaspoon of za'atar, the cumin, salt and pepper. Spread the vegetables into a single layer on a lined baking sheet. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, stirring half way through the cooking process.
  • While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the couscous and peas according to package instructions.
  • To assemble the salad, combine the prepared couscous and peas with the roasted vegetables, along with any cooking liquids from the veggies. Add the remaining avocado oil, lemon juice, and za'atar. Toss to combine. Garnish with feta crumbles (omit if serving with meat).
Advertisements

Shop This Recipe


This page contains affiliate links. This means for any purchase made, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.



Still Hungry?

New subscribers get access to free food journal printables. Sign up today!


Please follow and like us:
error0
fb-share-icon20
Tweet 20
fb-share-icon20

Blueberry Pumpkin Seed Chicken Salad

Great for lunch or a quick snack

Chicken salad is a great go to as a sandwich, with greens for a salad, or as a protein-packed snack with crackers. This salad has a little different twist with the addition of sweet, dried blueberries, and crunchy pumpkin seeds. Both add great flavor and extra fiber.

This recipe can dressed in two ways. I used a jarred olive oil based mayonnaise. You can also substitute vegan-aise.

Or blend your own dressing using an avocado, a tablespoon of lemon juice, a table spoon of avocado oil and salt and pepper to taste. Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and process until smooth and creamy.

However you choose to dress this salad, it makes a great grab-and-go lunch. Save yourself some time and use leftover chicken or even a cooled rotisserie chicken from your local market.

Advertisements

Still Hungry?

Become a subscriber to receive free printables! Create your own food journal.


Blueberry Pumpkin Seed Chicken Salad

Prep Time 10 mins
Course Main Course, Salad, Snack

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups Chicken cooked and diced
  • 1/4 cups Dried Blueberries
  • 1/4 cup Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1/4 cup Green onions chopped
  • 1/3 cup Mayonnaise
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Add all ingredients to a large bowl and stir to combine.
Advertisements

Find the Ingredients


This page contains affiliate links. This means for any purchase made, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.



Still Hungry?

New subscribers get access to free food journal printables. Sign up today!


Please follow and like us:
error0
fb-share-icon20
Tweet 20
fb-share-icon20

Ginger Pineapple Chicken

The key to keeping meal prep lunches interesting is making them flavorful. This dish is loaded with flavor from the fresh ginger to the juicy pineapple. Add in tender chicken and a protein-packed grain. You really can’t go wrong with this one.

Benefits of Pineapple

Pineapple has long been known as an anti-inflammatory. Why? Because it contains Bromelain. Bromelain is an enzyme that aids in digestion and contains anti-inflammatory properties. Studies say it can also help with pain control. So it’s a great ingredient to incorporate into your diet if you are affected by inflammatory autoimmune conditions (see my About Me page for disclaimers). Plus it’s sweet and delicious!

Benefits of Ginger

Ginger has a crazy amount of health benefits. It’s a natural germ fighter. It’s great for relieving nausea and stomach irritation. It’s anti-inflammatory and has been shown to reduce muscle pain. It’s the epitome of a super food! Plus fresh ginger adds a slightly spicy, slightly citrus flavor to dishes. It’s so good!

Grain Options

I try to stick with protein-rich grains with lots of antioxidants in my meals. So I tend to avoid things like white or even brown rice. If that’s your preference with a dish like this, by all means, go for it. But I find there are better options that pack more nutritional value into my meals. Which is important to me when I’m consuming a small portion. Might as well make every calorie count, right? I also like to avoid gluten whenever possible because I find it can lead to inflammation for me. So here are some other options for you:

Quinoa

Quinoa is a delicious super grain that is packed with fiber and protein. It’s a great substitute for rice and it’s really quick to prepare. Be sure to give your uncooked quinoa a rinse before cooking to eliminate any bitterness. My preferred brand of quinoa calls for a two to one ratio of liquid to quinoa. I add two cups of water or vegetable stock and one cup of quinoa to a small pot with a small pinch of salt. Bring it to a boil and simmer for fifteen minutes until the liquid has been absorbed. Let it stand about five minutes and then fluff with a fork before serving.

Forbidden Rice

Also aptly known as black rice for its hue, this stuff is also packed with protein, fiber and antioxidants. I really like the subtle nutty flavor while texturally, it gets soft like white rice. It is a little slower cooking than quinoa. My preferred brand takes thirty minutes. But it’s well worth it.

Gluten Free Brown Rice Noodles

This is a great, gluten free pasta option. I like the wider Pad Thai noodles but Maifun is a great option if you prefer a thinner cut. They’re a good source of fiber and they cook up in just five minutes.

Recipe:

Start by taking the skin off a fresh pineapple and removing the core. I like to use a pineapple corer to make this job a little easier and cuts the fruit into even slices. Place half the pineapple into the bowl of a food processor. Add ¼ cup of coconut aminos, 3 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar, 3 cloves of garlic, 1 inch of grated ginger and a pinch of salt. Process until smooth and set aside.

Cut the remaining pineapple into chunks and set aside.

Cut about a pound of chicken thigh meat into bite sized pieces (swap breast meat if you prefer). Toss the chicken pieces in two tablespoons of cornstarch, salt and pepper. Add a tablespoon of avocado oil to a pan. Heat over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the chicken pieces and allow to brown. When the chicken is nearly browned, add the pineapple pieces. Allow them to caramelize. Add the pureed mixture from the food processor. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer until the chicken pieces are cooked through and the sauce is thickened.

While the chicken is cooking, prepare your grain of choice.

Divide the grain between three meal prep containers. Top with the chicken mixture. Store in the fridge until ready to heat and enjoy.

Advertisements

Still Hungry?

Become a subscriber to receive free printables! Create your own food journal.


Ginger Pineapple Chicken

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Main Course

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Pineapple peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Aminos
  • 3 tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • 1 inch Fresh Ginger
  • 1 lb Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp Avocado Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • To prepare the sauce, add half the pineapple along with the coconut aminos, rice wine vinegar, garlic, ginger, and salt to a blender. Process until smooth and set aside.
  • Cut the remaining half of the pineapple into chunks and set aside.
  • Toss the chicken pieces in the cornstarch and season with salt and pepper.
  • In a large skillet, heat the avocado oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the chicken pieces and brown on all sides. Add the pineapple chunks and allow to caramelize. Pour in the sauce mixture and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is thickened.
  • Prepare your grain of choice.
  • Portion your grain of choice and the chicken mixture between two to three meal prep containers. Refrigerate until ready to heat and enjoy.
Advertisements

Shop This Recipe


This page contains affiliate links. This means for any purchase made, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.



Still Hungry?

New subscribers get access to free food journal printables. Sign up today!


Please follow and like us:
error0
fb-share-icon20
Tweet 20
fb-share-icon20

Sweet Chili Chicken Meal Prep

Sweet Chili Chicken Stir Fry is great for a meal prep lunch. It’s satisfying and delicious without being heavy.

Grain Options

I try to stick with protein-rich grains with lots of antioxidants in my meals. So I tend to avoid things like white or even brown rice. If that’s your preference with a dish like this, by all means, go for it. But I find there are better options that pack more nutritional value into my meals. Which is important to me when I’m consuming a small portion. Might as well make every calorie count, right? I also like to avoid gluten whenever possible because I find it can lead to inflammation for me. So here are some other options for you:

Gluten Free Brown Rice Noodles

This is a great, gluten free pasta option. I like the wider Pad Thai noodles but Maifun is a great option if you prefer a thinner cut. They’re a good source of fiber and they cook up in just five minutes.

Quinoa

Quinoa is a delicious super grain that is packed with fiber and protein. It’s a great substitute for rice and it’s really quick to prepare. Be sure to give your uncooked quinoa a rinse before cooking to eliminate any bitterness. My preferred brand of quinoa calls for a two to one ratio of liquid to quinoa. I add two cups of water or vegetable stock and one cup of quinoa to a small pot with a small pinch of salt. Bring it to a boil and simmer for fifteen minutes until the liquid has been absorbed. Let it stand about five minutes and then fluff with a fork before serving.

Forbidden Rice

Also aptly known as black rice for its hue, this stuff is also packed with protein, fiber and antioxidants. I really like the subtle nutty flavor while texturally, it gets soft like white rice. It is a little slower cooking than quinoa. My preferred brand takes thirty minutes. But it’s well worth it.

Sweet Thai Chili Sauce

I love the flavor of Sweet Thai Chili Sauce but all that extra sugar can be a little rough. So I came up with a quick swap that’s a little more anti-inflammatory friendly. Start with a sugar-free apricot jam. Use one made with Stevia. Stevia is a no calorie, plant-based sweetener that is anti-inflammatory friendly. Add a tablespoon of Thai chili paste to a measuring cup and add enough jam to make a cup. Set it aside.

Gluten Free Breading

My go-to coating when I need a breading is cornstarch. Be careful if you have celiac because cornstarch is often processed in plants that also process wheat. Cornstarch adds a light crispiness and helps thicken sauces.

Still Hungry?

Become a subscriber to receive free printables! Create your own food journal.

Recipe

To prepare this recipe, start by cutting your chicken into bite-sized pieces. Toss the chicken in two tablespoons of cornstarch, salt and pepper. Add a tablespoon of avocado oil to a saute pan and heat over medium-high heat, until it shimmers. Add the chicken and brown. It will cook through in the sauce.

Add the slices of bell pepper and matchstick carrots. Cook an additional two minutes. Then lower the heat to low and add the sauce mixture. Allow the chicken and vegetables to simmer in the sauce until the chicken is cooked through.

While the chicken is cooking, prepare your preferred grain option. In this case, I used rice noodles.

For meal prep, divide the noodles between two meal prep containers. Divide the chicken mixture between the containers. Store in the refrigerator until ready to reheat and enjoy.

Advertisements

Sweet Chili Chicken

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Main Course

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp Avocado Oil
  • 1 tbsp Thai Chili Garlic Paste
  • 1 cup Apricot Jam sugar free
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Your Grain of Choice prepared according to package instructions
  • 1 Yellow Bell Pepper sliced
  • 1/2 cup Matchstick Carrots

Instructions
 

  • Add the chili sauce to the apricot jam. Stir to combine and set aside.
  • Toss the chicken pieces in the cornstarch and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Heat the avocado oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the chicken and brown on all sides.
  • Add the sliced bell pepper and matchstick carrots. Cook another two to three minutes.
  • Reduce the heat and add the apricot jam mixture. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickened. Watch carefully to avoid burning.
  • Portion your prepared grain of choice, followed by the chicken mixture between two to three meal prep containers. Refrigerate until ready to heat and enjoy.
Advertisements

Shop This Recipe


This page contains affiliate links. This means for any purchase made, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.



Still Hungry?

New subscribers get access to free food journal printables. Sign up today!


Please follow and like us:
error0
fb-share-icon20
Tweet 20
fb-share-icon20

Israeli Couscous Salad

This vegetarian salad is so simple to prepare and packed with delicious flavor. This recipe is enough for two vegetarian salads for your meal prep lunch. Or service it as a side dish with chicken, fish, or lamb. I like it along side my Za’atar Lamb Chops. Find the link to this recipe, and more, below.

Israeli Couscous

Also called Giant Couscous or Pearl Couscous, this toasted pasta is a great option to accompany a wide variety of dishes. It’s quick and easy to prepare and adds great texture.

I’ve not found this in a gluten free option. If you are gluten free, I recommend substituting buckwheat, quinoa or millet in this salad.

You’ll want to follow the package instructions when preparing Israeli Couscous. The variety I use calls for one and a quarter cups of liquid to one cup of couscous. In this case, I used a vegan vegetable stock to add a little extra flavor. The pasta absorbs the cooking liquid so feel free to experiment with different cooking liquids.

Bring the vegetable stock and couscous to a boil in a small pot. Reduce the heat to low and cover for six minutes. Fluff the couscous with a fork and you’re ready to enjoy. I recommend not leaving the couscous sit too long before adding sauce or dressing. I will get very sticky when it cools and needs the sauce or dressing to keep from forming one big solid clump.

Chickpeas

Canned chickpeas are great if you’re in a hurry. I look for reduced sodium or no salt added whenever I need to purchase them. But they can’t compete with the flavor of with the flavor of cooking them yourself. Preparing chickpeas is really simple. It just requires a little advanced planning because they do need to soak overnight. For one cup of dried chickpeas, you’ll need four cups of water. Place the chickpeas and water in a large bowl and allow to set on the counter (or in the fridge) overnight.

When you’re ready to cook, drain the soaking water from the chickpeas. Place them in a pot and add four cups of fresh water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes or until the chickpeas are tender. Drain the cooking liquid and you’re ready to use freshly cooked chickpeas in salads, soups, or stews. Prepare your own hummus or roast them for a satisfying, crunchy snack.

Art of Tea Organics

Preparing the Salad

This salad couldn’t be simpler to prepare once the couscous and chickpeas are cooked. In a bowl, combine the couscous, chickpeas, finely diced red onion, and matchstick carrots.

Next, to make the dressing, add the herbs, lemon juice, salt and pepper to a food process. Pulse a few times to chop the herbs. Then with the food processor running, stream in the olive oil. Pour the dressing over the couscous mixture and stir to combine.

Advertisements

Still Hungry?

Become a subscriber to receive free printables! Create your own food journal.


Israeli Couscous Salad

Course Salad, Side Dish
Servings 4

Equipment

  • Food Processor

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup uncooked Israeli Couscous
  • 1 cup Chickpeas cooked
  • 1/2 small Red Onion finely diced
  • 1 small handful Mint
  • 1 small handful Parsley
  • 1/2 cup Matchstick Carrots
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Prepare the couscous according to package instructions. I recommend substituting a vegan vegetable stock for the amount of water called for.
  • While the couscous is cooking, add the mint, parsley, lemon juice, salt and pepper to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to chop the herbs. Then with the food processor running, stream in the olive oil.
  • In a large bowl, combine the cooked couscous, chickpeas, onion, and carrots. Add the dressing and stir to combine.
Advertisements

Shop For This Recipe Here


This page contains affiliate links. This means for any purchase made, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.


Pair It With


Still Hungry?

New subscribers get access to free food journal printables. Sign up today!


Please follow and like us:
error0
fb-share-icon20
Tweet 20
fb-share-icon20

Za’atar Lamb Chops

Za’atar

I was introduced to za’atar by a dear friend and quickly became addicted to this spice blend. It’s aromatic. It’s earthy. It’s delicious on practically everything. Recipes can vary by brand but generally, za’atar is a combination of oregano, thyme, and marjoram blended with sumac and toasted sesame seeds. It’s great on meats like chicken, beef, and lamb or fish. It’s my go-to garnish on hummus. I toss it with sweet potatoes and avocado oil to roast as a side dish. Like I said, it’s amazing on everything.

Selecting Lamb Chops

When I created this recipe, I used a lamb shoulder chop. Lamb shoulder chops contain connective tissues and are a more worked muscle in the animal, which can make it a tougher cut, more suitable to a braising method of cooking. You may want to look for a bone-in, frenched lamb chop for this recipe, if this is a concern for you. Personally I like the lamb shoulder chop because of it’s marbled fat, similar to a ribeye steak, making it more flavorful than a standard lamb chop, which is more like sirloin. If you’re using a quality meat, the tenderness shouldn’t be an issue but if you’re concerned, definitely go with the standard lamb chop.

In some areas, lamb can be a little difficult to come by. If you don’t have a local butcher shop that carries good lamb, I’ve always been very happy with the products from Grow and Behold (kosher). They ship anywhere in the U.S. and have very good quality products.

Art of Tea Organics

Preparing This Recipe

To prepare this dish, combine za’atar, cumin, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the spice mixture on the lamb chops and allow them to sit for about 15 minutes.

Add a tablespoon of avocado oil to a skillet, over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers. Sear each side of the lamb until the meat reaches a medium rare. Cooking times will vary depending on the thickness of the meat.

Allow the lamb chops to rest before serving so the juices redistribute.

Alternatively, you could also prepare these on a stovetop grill pan or on the outdoor grill. Give them a quarter turn halfway through their cooking time, on each side, to create beautiful hashmark grill marks on the meat.

I recommend serving these chops with my Israeli Couscous salad. Find the link to the recipe below.

Advertisements

Still Hungry?

Become a subscriber to receive free printables! Create your own food journal.


Za’atar Lamb Chops

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Servings 2

Ingredients
  

  • 2 Lamb Shoulder Chops
  • 1 tbsp Cumin
  • 1 tbsp Za'atar
  • 1 tbsp Avocado Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Combine the cumin, za'atar, salt, and pepper to a small bowl and combine. Rub the spice mixture on both sides of the lamb chops. Allow them to sit for fifteen minutes.
  • Add the avocado oil to a skillet over medium-high heat. Allow the oil to heat until it shimmers. Add the lamb chops and sear on each side until the meat reaches a medium-rare. Cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the meat. My chops took about five minutes per side.
Advertisements

Shop For This Recipe


This page contains affiliate links. This means for any purchase made, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.


Pair It With


Still Hungry?

New subscribers get access to free food journal printables. Sign up today!


Please follow and like us:
error0
fb-share-icon20
Tweet 20
fb-share-icon20